“Going to Pot,” the Inner Circle’s 2015 annual show, was a resounding success, drawing an audience of nearly 1,000 Saturday night, more than twice that number for Friday’s dress rehearsal, and attracting a bevy of political A-listers.
Keeping up with a 93-year tradition, the Inner Circle singers, dancers, writers and backstage helpers put on a smart, funny, hip-shaking parody of NYC, state and national politics, pols, social fails, and anything else worth a good poke.
The audience included U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer; of course, Mayor Bill de Blasio, members of Congress and the City Council, municipal union leaders, real estate and business executives.
This year’s show was dedicated in memory of John Slattery (IC’88) who died suddenly last September.
Mayor Bill’s rebuttal included several comedy skits, but as in his freshman response, no Broadway musical cast alongside him. The SNL-themed skits included one with comedian Louis C.K., and several with NYC’s First Lady, Chirlane McCray and Press Secretary Phil Walzak.
Louis C.K. acted as an f-bombing translator of the mayor’s policy statements, dropping such pointed gems as: “Is there anybody more useless than a reporter? He (de Blasio) hates those people. Just get out of the … way. OK? You wield power and add nothing …. If you weren’t here, he would fix everything in three fucking days.”
“The Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore supplied a video message because he said he “didn’t want to be the only black person in the room.”
And the Upper East Side Woman did a return performance after her hilarious debut routine at the 2014 BdB response. UESW once again implored the de Blasios to “if you don’t mind, move!” out of Gracie Mansion.
The mayor’s first Inner Circle rebuttal in 2014 included co-stars Steve Buscemi, Cynthia Nixon and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
The Inner Circle’s 2015 two-act production included songs and jokes parodying Mayor Bill’s habit of arriving late for public events, and another showed police officers mooning Hizzoner. Act 2 took place in Havana where a slew of “corrupt” pols were seeking asylum from the Mean Preet Bharara.
Inner Circle President Henry Goldman predicted the group would raise its targeted goal of $100,000 in proceeds to go to some 100 small local charities.
This year’s production saw several innovative cost-cutting initiatives, each designed, as Goldman said, to have more funds to donate to worthy groups.
“We always have fun and we’re always very creative,” Goldman said, “but this year we will have a record amount to meet our cause, which is to help local New York charities.”
Here’s what some of our newsy brethren had to write about the show: